Remember to warm up before your workout routine

by Christopher B. Robrahn
Fitness Columnist

You arrive at the gym and have limited time to get your exercise routine completed. You’ve had a busy day and still have plenty to do, so you need to get things done quickly. Sound familiar?    

Almost all of us who exercise regularly have dealt with the “limited time” consideration. However, with colder temperatures outside, don’t make the mistake of just starting your resistance training or cardio workout without an appropriate warmup.

Without a proper warm-up, you can cause discomfort and not allow your body the time to adjust to exercise and challenging movements.

At worst, you can cause significant injury simply because you don’t think a warm-up is always an essential part of your workout. It is.

The warm-up portion of your exercise routine needn’t take a long period, maybe only five or 10 minutes. The first part of your warmup is simple. Get your gym clothes on and be aware of how your body is feeling. Are you high energy at the moment? Are you tense? Are you tired? Are you into the workout, or not?

Be aware of how you are feeling and start the warmup portion of the workout accordingly. Are you cold? Allow yourself to warm up if you have been outside in cold weather. It’s important to do the prep to make it a great exercise experience.

Most people walk or stretch to loosen up muscles. I try and do both. I always stretch when I do my morning cardio and weight training session at my home. Walking helps to initiate additional circulation of the blood and stretching is a great next step. Make sure your stretching is appropriate, based on your physical condition and where you are with your fitness.

Basic stretching types are static and active.

Static, or passive, stretching is what most people do. Stretch your body and hold the stretch without body motion. Static stretching is done without aid to hold the stretch, like holding your leg with your hand, that is passive stretching.

I do a static stretch every morning by touching my ceiling and just holding it. It isn’t a big challenge, and it’s a great way to start some simple movements.

Active stretching is both dynamic and ballistic. These forms of stretching involve motion with the body. Dynamic stretches use motion to bring the body to a point where it normally does not move on its own. It is done gently.

I like dynamic stretching once I have warmed up and performed some static stretches. It can help with range of motion if done carefully over time.

Ballistic stretching should be considered an advanced move. The participant uses motion to bounce with forced movements the body to a stretched point. It is easy to cause injury if the participant hasn’t prepared adequately. I’d discourage ballistic stretching unless you have worked with a trainer first.

When you feel like you are warmed up and ready, you are ready for a fantastic workout.

Don’t forget the cool down by walking or some slow movements to allow your muscles to slow from the workout. Just ceasing an aggressive workout can cause your muscles some difficulty from blood flow. Always wise to cool your body temperature as well.

An awesome workout doesn’t just happen. It is planned and executed.

Have a great holiday and include the exercise!

Copyright The Gayly – November 13, 2018 @ 12:10 p.m. CST.